Expressing Gratitude with Joy, Community, and Home

When this year’s student body returns for Reunions in the coming years, memories of the Thanksgiving festivities of 2020 will, no doubt, fill conversations.
For the first Thanksgiving with students on campus in many years, the School pulled out all the stops. The festivities began even before the traditional holiday weekend with an end-of-trimester School holiday the Friday before Thanksgiving. Students loaded into the School SUVs for time in the waves followed by a virtual race against Cate on Upper Field in which our runners competed against Cate runners via live stream.

After three days of classes, the whirlwind began on Wednesday with a Coffeehouse on the Pergola. Several Thacher bands, singers, and a magician overcame butterflies to entertain the group. Thursday morning, a Turkey Trot fundraising race gave the Thacher community an opportunity to support the Ojai community, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor and several other Thacher folks. Later in the afternoon, instead of watching the NFL from a couch, spectators enjoyed a flag football tournament to uphold the Thanksgiving football tradition. And speaking of traditions, Ms. Pidduck invited folks to a pie-making-event in her yard. Those pies, along with pies baked and sent to campus by Thacher alums, parents, and grandparents were served for dessert after Thanksgiving dinner.

In the spirit of Formal Dinner—one of the traditions the community has temporarily lost—students and faculty donned formal attire and came together on Thursday to enjoy one of our dining hall’s legendary feasts. The evening culminated with a Performing Arts Concert. All five of the School’s musical ensembles and cellist Jennifer ’22 performed on a specially-erected stage on the Upper School lawn. 

With the morning sun shining on the new sand volleyball courts, juniors kicked off the all-School Playa de Piedra tournament Friday. Mr. Snyder, who coordinated the tournament, described the event as “exactly what we were hoping for: upbeat, welcoming, and enthusiastic, with great sportsmanship throughout. It felt like a classic Thacher sporting event.” Volleyball, more beach trips, a spike ball tournament, trail rides, and loads of other activities filled each weekend day. Friday’s dinner was a barbecue, and on Saturday students were treated to food trucks. 

Addressing both a live and on-line crowd at Monday’s Assembly, Ms. Pidduck acknowledged the Herculean effort required to pull off such an ambitious multi-day celebration and gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone who organized and participated in the events of the weekend.

More About Thacher

Interested in learning more about Thacher? Sign up for a virtual visit here.
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.